English Premier League Clubs have agreed to meet on Thursday to discuss shirt sponsorship deals with gambling companies.
The meeting follows the recent news that the government’s latest review of the 2005 Gambling Act could see shirt sponsorship deals with betting firms banned completely.
The review was launched in late 2020 following a House of Lords committee recommendation that sports teams should no longer feature gambling firms on their kits. The recommendation was suggested as a potential option for tackling problem gambling in the United Kingdom.
The meeting on Thursday will see club officials discuss findings of a study into the relationship between problem gambling and shirt sponsorship.
There are eight teams in the Premier League with shirt sponsorship deals with betting firms — Burnley, Crystal Palace, Fulham, Leeds, Newcastle, Southampton, West Ham and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
In England’s second tier of football, the Championship, 17 of the 24 clubs in the division have gambling firm shirt sponsors.
A spokesperson for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport told Sky Sports:
“We are currently undertaking a comprehensive review of gambling laws to make sure they are fit for the digital age and a public call for evidence is open for contributions.
“We are determined to tackle problem gambling in all its forms and the work will build upon our strong track record of introducing measures to protect those at risk. No decisions have been taken.”
It’s not yet clear what position the clubs will take. In November of last year Premier League chief executive Richard Masters told a parliamentary inquiry:
“If there needs to be a rebalancing, that is fine, but we do not think there should be a prohibition on sponsorship of football clubs or other sports clubs, for that matter.”
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